You'll Wish You Hadn't Been So Hard on Yourself... A True Story.
I’m going to start this post with a true story.
It was the late 90’s and I was visiting my Mom in Florida. She lived in this beautiful brick house and had two baby Pomeranian puppies. She was wearing blue silk pants with a blue printed silk blouse tucked in. Heels, jewelry, hair and makeup. My mom always brought her A-game. She wanted a photo of herself holding the puppies, so we walked out to the front of the house and I took the photo as she stood at the entryway of our home. She looked beautiful.
Fast forward maybe 10 or 15 years later. Mom and I are digging through some old photo albums and we come across the photo of her holding the puppies. She stopped and stared at the photo then she looked at me. “I remember that day. I remember feeling so fat in those pants and feeling so bad about how I looked. But now, looking at this photo, I would give anything to look like that again. I can’t believe I felt so bad about myself. I looked great.”
I vacation a lot at the beach - Mexico and Bermuda are two favorites. I usually travel with my best friends and we have a rule about beach vacations: you’re going to have to take a few photos of me in a bikini and you’re not allowed to tease me about it or make me feel bad. It’s not an unspoken rule. I speak it. And here’s why:
First of all, I put daily time and effort into looking the best I can and feeling strong and healthy and I’m proud of myself and how I look. But that’s not why I do it. I do it because one day I’m going be in my 60’s or 70’s, looking back on photos of vacations and adventures, and I don't want to see pictures of myself and remember feeling bad about how I looked when the photo was taken. I don’t want to live on this loop of feeling bad about myself in the moment and, simultaneously, wishing I looked like I did in the past (ahem…WHEN I FELT BAD ABOUT HOW I LOOKED). You get it? You feel bad right now about the body you’ll wish for one day. Let me say it again for the people in the back:
I know this is easier said than done. And to be clear, this is NOT about bikini photos. It’s about how you feel about yourself today and your inner dialogue. Do this: next time you’re looking at a current photo of yourself, before you zoom in to critique every bit and bop, fast forward to yourself in 10, 20 or 30 years and ask yourself, would she LOVE to look like this again? Better yet, get up and go look in the mirror right now and do the same thing. And then give yourself a little bit of extra love and kindness, right here, right now. You, my friend, are a babe.